Malokarpatan – Krupinské ohne
As a long time fan of the old iron curtain metal scene, it warms my heart to hear a band that picks up where the 80’s and early 90’s ended. Malokarpatan, from Slovakia, began to really gather an international following with their second album “Nordkarpatenland” in 2017. The sound was deeply rooted in the heavy metal based black metal style that is so uniquely East European. Bands like KAT, MASTER’S HAMMER and ROOT instantly came to mind. After some touring they’re now presenting us with their third fullength, and it’s definitely worth your while.
Their two first albums could be considered to be more “traditional” metal albums, in the sense of them having around 10 songs spanning between 3 and 6 minutes each. This new album is a concept album, with a story about the witches of Krupina and how they finally met their fiery doom, way back in the 1600’s (the album title translates into “The Fires of Krupina”). The album spans over about 48 minutes, but only contains 5 songs.
So, is this change good or bad? I’ll say that’s left for the ears of the beholder. The sound is still very primal and the mix of heavy metal and black metal is rather intact. Also the theme of the lyrics can’t be accused of stepping away from their earlier work – you get folklore, Slovakian history and mystical atmospheres just like before. What they have added is a touch that I wouldn’t describe as progressive per se, but it’s definitely inspired by the prog genre. The length of the songs and their further development of contrasts within the songs are signs of this. There’s passages that remind me a lot of Italian horror masters GOBLIN for example, something that blends well together with the heavy riffing and the ROOT sounding, grunty, vocals.
This album is for everyone that wants their metal a bit different and those who can really cherish atmosphere and that nice eastern block sound.
Title: Krupinské ohne
Label: Invictus Productions
Date of release: 2020-03-20
Playing time: 48,18 minutes
Stand out track(s): “Ze semena viselcuov čarovný koren”